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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: FAQ: Is there an evil external force involved in a BPD relationship?  (Read 3961 times)
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« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2019, 01:26:29 AM »

This is a great discussion. It really makes you think “Nurture vs Nature”  What lenfan and Skip had to say really has made me think.
Many times I  have felt my XDIL is evil but if I peel back the layers and I am honest with myself I know her mother was that way, and now my SGD is that way. It has to be a little of both, “nurture and nature”. What I find very interesting is the fact that there seems to be so many  people who sufer from this, or is it that we are just more aware of it?  It seems every time I tell someone our story they say it’s happening to them or they know someone who is going through It too.
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« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2019, 09:41:44 AM »

What I find very interesting is the fact that there seems to be so many  people who sufer from this, or is it that we are just more aware of it?  It seems every time I tell someone our story they say it’s happening to them or they know someone who is going through It too.

when i told my story to a friend of mine, he suddenly concluded that every single one of his exes had BPD 

clinical BPD affects approximately 2-2.5% of the population. what theres a lot more of out there is BPD traits, immaturity, dysfunctional relationships.
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« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2019, 10:06:23 AM »

once removed,

You hit the nail on the head, as we know more about the triats, we suddenly try to associate them with past experience of certain behaviors.

The clinical #'s you quoted are actual diagnose stats, what do you think is the real % of people in society that are BPD that are not taken into account?  Especially given the rarity of them seeking help without some major circumstance leading them to do so?

Outside of BPD, the traits (immaturity, insecurity etc.) aren't they just what they are?

I can look back at most women and blame some traits they have had only to make myself feel better, I think it's kinda natural to cast blame...reality is, 1 finger at them and 3 at myself.

I would do that and say they had this deficiency or that undeveloped trait, now I am so engulfed with BPD and a pwBPD, it adds a different spin, more of a lopsided view that I eventually need to shake, I'm using it as a filter, a looking glass unnecessarily.
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« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2019, 10:24:18 AM »

The clinical #'s you quoted are actual diagnose stats, what do you think is the real % of people in society that are BPD that are not taken into account?  

This is a decent resource:
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=66448

There are two highly publicized data points. 1.9% which was an early projection. 5.9% which came from a large NIH study. No one tracks diagnoses on a national level - there is no national database like there is for STDs.

The NIH study also concluded:
      Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) that prevalence in men is the same as women.
 Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) BPD was more prevalent among Native American men, younger and separated/divorced/windowed adults, and lower income and education.
 Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) BPD was less prevalent among Hispanic men and women, and Asian women.
 Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) the study details many other conclusions such as BPD prevalence was greatest among people with bipolar disorder (50%), panic disorder, or drug dependence.  Smokers were also more likely to have BPD.
 Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) 24% had comorbidity with another personality disorder.  The rates of NPD/BPD and ASPD/BPD were higher among women.
 Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) the greatest decline was seen after 44 years old.

Based on surveys, we estimate that that 60% of the partners described on these boards are below the threshold for a clinical diagnosis, but have traits.

Nina Brown makes an interesting comment in her book on NPD. She says that few of us are dealing with people that would qualify for a diagnosis... but that people with traits can be very difficult nonetheless.
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« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2019, 10:34:17 AM »

The clinical #'s you quoted are actual diagnose stats, what do you think is the real % of people in society that are BPD that are not taken into account?  Especially given the rarity of them seeking help without some major circumstance leading them to do so?

i take the numbers at face value.

i think that part of the confusion when it comes to BPD is that you can be much lower on the spectrum (wouldnt qualify for a diagnosis) and at the same time even be a lot more difficult person than someone with clinical BPD. i know one person with clinical BPD, she is constantly in and out of crisis and on suicide watch, its very sad, and people tend to give her a wide berth. i know lots of people that are "BPDish", attractive people that are high functioning but can be very difficult for those close to them, immature, and are train wrecks in romantic relationships. clinical BPD is usually much more obvious, the level of dysfunction much higher.

its that level of dysfunction, typically coupled with a major circumstance (eating disorder, suicide attempt, highly dangerous impulsive behavior, that kind of thing) that involves clinical BPD and tends to lead to a diagnosis.

most of us are dealing/dealt with someone with subclinical BPD.

Excerpt
Spectrum of Severity  It is important to know that personality disorders are spectrum disorders, meaning that there is a broad range or spectrum of severity.

    High Functioning  At the less severe end of the spectrum, where many of our family members would be classified, the severity might be better described as personality style or traits of BPD or NPD. Surely you know someone that is pretty narcissistic, but not dysfunctional or mentally ill .

    Low Functioning  At the more severe end of the spectrum are people in crisis, some suicidal, some unable to hold employment, some estranged from their families, addiction problems, etc.

How much conflict we experience is not necessarily a measure of the severity of the disorder or an indication of the challenges to recover. A person with only a few traits can be very hurtful or destructive in relationships. At the same time, a person with a severe disorder can be less so; more internally focused or avoidant.
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« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2019, 12:55:49 PM »

Thank you Skip and once removed,

Your words, info give me perspective.  When I started looking into what the issue was and I ended up here, I saw things in black and white regarding whether she is/she isn't.  A desperate measure for an ah-ha moment which fluctuates between she is a disorder, she has parts of the disorder/disorders or she is just a woman with "issues"...

I would try to rubber stamp it in order to say, ok problem found, now we/I can fix it.  Confusion, disappointment and frustration...blame the disorder/blame the woman...shouldn't be blaming anything really.

I would have to say she has traits of both NPD/BPD, some extreme, some not.  The total emotionless showing of someone that lacks empathy, almost zero empathy is something most difficult to ignore/rationalize, she knows it, has probably heard it from other guys in short term rs that were disastrous.

I think only total lack of empathy which appears to be more NPD than BPD can lead to the sheer cruelty that I've endured.  Almost like a total lack of conscience.

Evil behavior...
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« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2019, 04:22:11 PM »

I agree with Harri. We go back because of what is in us. Maybe there is evil attached to BPD. The parents that raised them. Looking further back, their parents’s, etc. BPD isn’t evil. You were susceptible to it just like the rest of us. Let’s get real here. pwPBD are unwell, not evil. They don’t like who they are. They want to, but they can’t. They have a very limited tolerance for empathy. Evil is a big word. The mother of my son is not evil. Again, that’s a big word. I’ve not read the whole thread. Please explain evil.
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« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2019, 12:46:48 PM »

The evil part for me was constantly being drawn back in without a rational explanation in my mind. No matter how much I tried to cut the cord the pull was to powerful to let go.
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« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2019, 01:01:04 PM »

Mindfried, I get where you’re coming from. These people aren’t evil. They don’t know how to be who they wish to be. They depend on others to do that for them. We didn’t know that going in. We’re also not capable of propping them up. That’s up to them. Some pretty dark stuff can happen further down the spectrum. Evil resides there. It doesn’t here.

What are you currently trying to get through? How are you feeling?
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« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2019, 01:57:50 PM »

Thank you JNChell. I am good. Not trying to work through anything anymore. I thought a lot about this and thought it was a good topic of discussion. The one takeaway to me is we continue to live in a blameless society. People are responsible for their actions. Unless you have been determined to be insane, which from my readings BPD people are not they should be held responsible for their actions. I am responsible for my actions and my ex udBPD was responsible for hers.

There is good and evil inherent in all of us. IMO there is an evil factor, even if it is slight with the experience I had in a BPD relationship. When one person screws with another persons mind there is evil involved. You may not agree and take offense to the word. What would you call and still hold that person responsible for their actions?
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« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2019, 02:24:30 PM »

Thanks for bringing up a blameless society. Up to you if you want to move forward with that.
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« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2019, 02:32:04 PM »

I wouldn’t say that we’re a blameless society there’s plenty of social justice.

Where do you want to be on this chart Mindfried?

From Victim to Survivor toThriver
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« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2019, 02:48:26 PM »

I would say after the BPD relationship I was a survivor and now a thriver. I did strive to be a thriver but the BPD relationship took its emotional toll on me for a while and I feel I have come out on the other side and starting to truly thrive.
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« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2019, 02:57:54 PM »

Every body is different and has a situation that is unique to them. I didn’t know about emotional abuse and being a victim of emotional abuse the thought crossed my mind just after we split but I wasn’t going to assume this role of being a victim. No way.

You’re talking about being powerless, wanting to blame your ex there’s a time for that and there’s a time to move on from victim to survivor to thriver.

With all due respect I don’t think that you’re quite there yet, I’m not saying that you can’t attain it but I’d take a hard look at myself and really think about what I control, what choices that I have and who has power over that.
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« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2019, 03:29:24 PM »

Thank you Mutt on your assessment but with all due respect back at you, you don't know me or what I do on a daily basis or where I have come from. I posted an opinion on a message board for a topic of discussion. I looked at things from a different perspective. I looked at BPD from a spiritual  side as I posted a topic about karmic souls and one from the side of an unknown force that draws us back in and I felt it was evil. Anyone and I mean anyone who screws with another persons mind and is not diagnosed as insane has an evil component to them. You can agree or disagree. It's just my opinion. I am happy, healthy, conflict free, at peace, helpful and empathetic of others, have a healthy relationship, etc. Just posting here to try to help others and they have helped me.
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« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2019, 04:55:10 PM »

Anyone and I mean anyone who screws with another persons mind and is not diagnosed as insane has an evil component to them. You can agree or disagree.

That is probably a better description of the philosophy at Quora    Most of us are here to discuss and learn from one another. When put the priority on exploring all sides of a topic rather than debating it.  I hope that helps (as a general statement).

M. Scott Peck (MD, assistant chief of psychiatry and neurology in the office of the surgeon general in Washington, D.C.) wrote a book called "People of the Lie" (1998). Late in his career Peck became a clergyman and he tried to link the Biblical concept of evil to a psychology condition. The book is famous and controversial.

Peck describes evil people as being aware of their conscience, but actively choosing to ignore it, as opposed to a sociopathic person who appears to be devoid of conscience altogether. In other words, an evil person knows that they are doing evil, while a sociopath does not, even though their actions may be very similar.

Peck describes evil as “militant ignorance”. Evil people are obsessed with maintaining their self-image of perfection through self-deception. In addition, evil people will be very selective about who they inflict their evil upon, while going to great lengths to maintain an image respectability and normality with everyone else. As a result, evil people are often well liked by the majority, and their victims come across as being overly sensitive, having a persecution complex, or even being crazy.

Evil people, unable to face the painful reality of their character, will often place themselves in positions of power, or moral superiority.

Dostoyevsky felt that all men are capable or both good and depraved. A man is inherently and simultaneously good and evil. In Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky explores a life of a man who commits murders and the struggles with who he is. The murder made perfect practical sense. He did it and was not caught. Everything was perfect, except it wasn't and the man struggled.

These are pretty lofty philosophical constructs.

To Peck, Hitler is evil as he killed 11 million people. Stalin killed 3 million. It's easy to say they are evil.

A members boyfriend killed his Cat in a fit of anger. Evil?

Some hackers hacked this website several years ago and we spent thousands to recover in 24 hours. Evil?

One of my ex girlfriends broke up with me on Christmas eve as we were waiting to take a flight at the airport. Evil?

My current girlfriend is lovely. But, I have seen her act in spite a few times. Evil?

Dostoyevsky might ask - when you look in the mirror, do you see  that you have been evil?



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« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2019, 03:20:48 AM »

Beautifully written Skip. I've copied and pasted that to keep.

The Shack, addresses this very point when the main character meets 'Judgement'.


Date: 2017Minutes: 8:18

The Shack - Judgment

Looping back a bit to the high functioning low functioning point that was made earlier. Would we deem a low functioning pwBPD as sick and helpless, but we might deem a high functioning pwBPD as Evil... the differentiating point being that the low functioning suicidal, self harming, alcoholic is visibly destroying themselves but the high functioning is destroying the people closest to them. Even in the latter case, that very same person may well be regarded as a victim by others seeing their life from a different perspective.

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« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2019, 06:01:57 AM »

I can only speak from experience. S4’s mom is not an evil person. I’ve been in several toxic relationships. None of these women are evil. If they are, then I am as well. S4’s mom is surviving and will most likely never thrive. I hope that I’m wrong about that. She is doing what she feels she has to do to get by and is living in the ways that she learned. Our Son loves her deeply. She knows what she knows and isn’t interested in expanding on that.

Skip broadened this topic very well. Evil is a big word. We should use it responsibly.
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« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2019, 02:24:57 PM »

Let’s say if you try your very best at raising your child, there’s always going to be curve balls thrown at you things that you don’t anticipate. You have a good r/s with your child and you start to notice BPD traits from your child.

Now would that make your child evil?

I hope I didn't imply that any person, especially a child, was evil in and of themselves. I was thinking of "Evil" more in terms of an outside malevolent force, as opposed to the kind of evil that may reside in us all to some degree or another. The original post questioned whether evil was "involved' in some way. The word "involve" could encompass many things and to many different degrees. I think the original poster might be on to something with speculation in that direction, but I don't know what it is. I just think the concept of evil is worth considering in this context, even if we ultimately dismiss the notion.

So, in the scenario you outline, I absolutely do not think what you describe would make my child evil.   At some point though I would probably wonder if there was some kind of outside "evil" involved in my child's situation and consider whether or not prayer or some other spiritual response would be a helpful tool.  Maybe it's all hocus-pocus. But, I do wonder if there's something to it.
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« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2019, 04:34:45 PM »

What strikes me about this thread is the danger of lumping everyone suffering from BPD into one homogenized group.  People who suffer from BPD are just as individual as we are. 

Did Dream Come True illicit some traits which might be predictable for someone suffering from BPD?  Of course.  Could you tell me anything else about her from simply knowing I suspect she suffers from BPD?  No.

When I read the title of this thread I did a quick dive into the likelihood of BPD having a comorbidity with psychopathic traits.  NPD is, from my reading a common comorbidity, but I had not considered psychopathy until seeing this thread.  It is as fascinating as anything else one can read -there have been some good studies.

My point being are some people with BPD evil?  Without a doubt.  Why?  Because there are millions of people who suffer from BPD and I would bet my last dollar at least one of these people is evil (just playing the odds here) 

People are people.  Some people are evil.  I do not believe having BPD would be any sort of a predictor for evil behavior.

I have spent a lot of time on Quora reading what people suffering from BPD have to say.  It was important for me to 'walk a mile' in Dream Come True's shoes.  To try to see the world through the lens she had thrust upon her during her tragic childhood.  To read about people railing against this disorder from the inside -devastated because they pushed another loved one away. 

Most of us got our clocks cleaned in these relationships -but I never saw any evil. I saw a young woman doing whatever she could to stop her pain momentarily -even if these actions would eventually bring much greater pain.

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« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2019, 04:51:23 PM »

Wicker Man, I had a wonderful conversation today with a woman that has Dissociative Identity Disorder. It’s a PD. She’s a wonderful woman to talk to.

I agree. Lumping everyone into a basket is dangerous and irresponsible. I’d like to narrow it down further. It’s not people suffering from BPD. It’s people suffering from trauma in their own way. Just my take from what I’ve learned.
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« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2019, 12:15:06 AM »

Wow. I came to this board a few years ago after being puzzled by my then girlfriend, now wife, soon to be ex-wife’s, bizarre behaviour.

I was amazed by the similarity in everyone’s story about their relationships with their BPD person and remarked to my sister that it’s almost like some entity is controlling them all.

Good to see a healthy discussion on the subject.
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« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2019, 04:49:37 AM »

Well said Wicker Man. BPD is a debilitating heartbreaking mental illness. Only once have I heard my partner try to describe the deep dark hole inside himself, his abject fear of loss, he described it as “his incompleteness as a person, but couldn’t describe what was missing, as he said how can you explain nothingness. I cried for him, still do. Naturally it was a once only discussion, once in 4 years, all the rest of the time it’s my fault and there’s nothing wrong with him. . It’s not a bloody lifestyle choice, it’s a mental illness, no one wants it. Sufferers of BPD are not evil, I think that’s actually a hideous thing to say. I have been hurt so much and so badly but never ever would I call him evil. There are so many different degrees of BPD, some much worse than others, all difficult and painful for themselves and their families, husbands, wives, children, lovers but Evil, no I don’t believe it. They are ill, not idiots, imagine the extra pain you are piling on if you describe them as evil, it’s inhuman. In fact I think whoever thinks to describe these poor souls as evil is in fact evil themselves. Sorry, maybe a bit strong that’s how I feel.
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« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2019, 10:05:59 AM »

I looked up Evil on Wikipedia and they describe elements that are commonly associated with personal forms of evil involve unbalanced behaviour involving anger, revenge, fear, hatred, psychological trauma, expediency, selfishness, ignorance, destruction or neglect. We all have our own personal experiences in relationships. You can determine for yourself if you have experienced any of the above traits or elements.
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« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2019, 11:17:08 AM »

When I began reading this thread I looked up evil in the OED

evil
ADJECTIVE

1. Profoundly immoral and wicked.
‘his evil deeds’
‘no man is so evil as to be beyond redemption’

For me the concept of evil comes down to intent.  I cannot be mad at Dream Come True, because it would be like being mad at a cat for being a cat.  I have no anger -just plenty of sadness for her.

She was, from my observation, just trying to make it through the day.  Yes... her coping mechanisms were dysfunctional, confusing and sometime incredibly painful -but I saw neither evil nor forethought or any sort of planning in her behavior for that matter. --No intent.

If there had been any sort of Machiavellian evil plan she would have simply waited 1 more week before ending our relationship -I was one week away from sending a large money transfer to buy her and her grandparents a house.  Then a break up would have done me life altering harm.

I have always looked at this as proof positive that there was no grand design to the mayhem she creates.  She is, in my opinion, a leaf blown about in an emotional tempest often beyond her control or even conception.

After our relationship was done she posted on Instagram a picture of a 'Hello I'm' sticker (like one people would wear at a conference).  Instead of her name it said 'trying my best'.  I really believe she was.

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« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2019, 11:53:38 AM »

Wicker Man, I can relate to the conclusion of our exes just trying to make it through the day. Surviving in the only ways that they knew how. I also believe that it is too ingrained, and perhaps too frightening for them to step outside of that box, and that any encouragement or coercion to do so is met with hostility. I’m not trying to minimize or undermine other’s experiences, I’m simply relating.

I imagine that there is an element of evil when the spectrum and comorbity come into play and where an individual is with themselves in relation. Being made to think that they’re evil or bad is what put them there. Trauma is a wild beast. Conforming to it can cause things like BPD. Not conforming to it can cause things like C-PTSD. IMHO, trauma and it’s effects need to be recognized. How can we raise awareness? I don’t have a solid answer, but I think that we can find one as a community.
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« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2019, 12:19:35 PM »

I think for clarity purposes, there are different levels of severity for BPD. I believe that a person with a high level or severe BPD is truly suffering from mental illness and not intentionally evil. From my observation, in my relationship, my ex was very high functioning and aware. So based on that and based on her constant and endless mind games I felt there was an evil component involved. I take responsibility for constantly going back to her over a 4 year period but I also felt there was something more going on in the spiritual world that kept drawing in me back in, in addition to the psychological aspect. I am not placing blame on her, I just looked at things from a different perspective and other possibilities and feel there was an outside source/force involved. Maybe evil, maybe something else. Evil is the word I came up with and looking at my original post I stated it would not be politically correct. My adult children had shared a few vacations with my ex and myself and after the final break-up they, along with their friends who were also on vacation said they nicknamed her Satan. They made independent observations of her behaviour. I am not saying this is right, I am saying it is something to think about and consider in your own relationship and situation.
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« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2019, 12:31:14 PM »

I just looked at things from a different perspective and other possibilities and feel there was an outside source/force involved. Maybe evil, maybe something else.

It's a loaded word for sure, Mindfried.

Stepping away from the word (sometimes that helps). The Wikipedia entry you cited makes the point that there are multiple definitions and that always makes dicusuuions hard when a word has vast meanings (e.g., boundaries, abuse, etc.).

Is the core of what you are saying is that you believe that that there was an outside source/force involved . The force caused her to do hurtful things. The force pulled you back into the relationship multiple times after you left.

Do I have that right?

Have you experienced this in other aspects of your life?
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« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2019, 01:04:56 PM »

Yes evil is a loaded word and means different things to different people. No I have not experienced this in any way shape or form throughout my life in anyway what so ever. This was a totally new experience for me. I believe her actions towards me had an evil component to them. Like I have previously stated anyone who screws with someones mind on an hourly, daily , weekly, etc basis has to take some type of responsibility. If evil is not the appropriate word than I am open to other explanations other than full psychological ones. I do take responsibility for constantly going back to her but again there was something different about not being able to cut the cord with her no matter how hard I tried. This is just my personal experience but like I said many of the posts and experience are similar so it is food for thought.
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« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2019, 01:09:08 PM »

PC aside, how does a dog react to new people that has been abused? How does the same dog react to the person that is holding it’s leash? Is the dog evil, or is protecting itself in its own perceived way? I’d say it’s protecting itself. It’s uncertain, so it doesn’t take any chances. It simply bites to eliminate any chance of being hurt.
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